08/02/2018
Dieuwe de Boer
Opinion
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MPI to Introduce Sharia Law to New Zealand

The Ministry for Primary Industries is introducing a proposal for a regulatory export assurance framework on products that are labelled halal or would require certification on export.

As things currently stand, New Zealand companies manage any necessary compliance directly with the countries or organisations that they are exporting to. This proposal will change that by establishing halal certification, a component of Sharia law, into New Zealand regulation. Why are MPI introducing a foreign legal framework into this country? You can rest assured once this proposal is implemented it will set a precedent. This proposal is Sharia law by stealth.

The proposal sets out four main goals:

(a) Cooperation between Government (MPI), industry and approved halal organisations (i.e. approved halal certification agencies);

(b) Halal export framework set out in legislation with Government oversight;

(c) Industry responsible for implementing halal processing requirements at their premises; and

(d) Approved halal organisations providing halal certification and verifying compliance.

The proposal enshrines halal organisations into New Zealand law and makes New Zealand companies responsible for complying with Sharia law. Failure to comply with Islamic law would now be failure to comply with New Zealand law. The proposal hints at a legislative bill that would be required to bring this framework into full effect, which would indeed be necessary because this proposal goes way beyond any regulatory powers that the MPI may have.

The proposal requires these approved halal certification agencies to employ practising Muslims and that these organisations are accepted as a halal certification body in one of four Islamic nations. Not only does the New Zealand government now have to decide what a "practising Muslim" is, but foreign powers can dictate who gets to certify New Zealand products as halal.

Where does the certification money go? There is no requirement for these entities to be non-profit or self-sustaining. New Zealanders, and any nation we export to, will be paying an Islamic tax and funding the Mohammedan religion, perhaps even for the purpose of terrorism against the West. There is likewise no requirement that halal certified products even be labeled as such. Should the product not be exported to an Islamic nation, it can be sold unlabeled here in New Zealand or anywhere else around the world.

The proposal makes no description of the practise of halal slaughter (probably because foreign powers will be dictating this to us). For those unfamiliar with the practise, the general requirements are:

1. Must be performed by Muslims.

2. The throat of the animal must be cut.

3. The head of the animal must be facing Mecca.

4. An Islamic prayer must be recited.

The list of organisations that will become "official certifying halal agencies" contains a number that can only certify for one or two Islamic jurisdictions, e.g. in Indonesia but not in UAE, or vice-versa. Will New Zealand companies need to work with several organisations because the requirements for halal differ so greatly between these countries? The proposal makes no attempt to clarify any of this.

Christians cannot eat halal meat (1 Cor 10:28). Jews cannot eat halal meat either. Atheists or members of other religions might not want to consume halal meat or fund halal certification for their own reasons.

Anyone who objects to consuming halal meat cannot make the choice to avoid it, because the label does not have to be stuck on any product that is not exported to an Islamic nation. While I understand this to be a problem already, as companies can currently engage in halal slaughter and not market their products as such, this framework will endorse and expand this practise. If we are to have any law surrounding halal at all, it ought to at least be one of compulsory labeling.

The proposal is open for submissions until Wednesday 28th February. If you wish to make a submission against the MPI proposal, email it to food.assurance@mpi.govt.nz.